Extra spicy crushed red pepper…
So cayenne-based crushed red pepper just isn’t hot enough for you? That’s ok. Habanero peppers can amp things up quite nicely. Habanero flakes can work anywhere you’d use generic red pepper flakes, with a couple of flavor twists. There’s an ever-so-slight hint of sweetness to them that you don’t get from cayenne and most other lesser-heat red peppers. And the kick – well that’s a major jump from what you get from store bought brands. Be ready. You can control the heat of habanero flakes by removing the seeds prior to crushing the dried chilies, but why make habanero-based flakes in the first place if “too much heat” is a question you’re asking?
When working with habanero peppers – especially this many (you’ll need 50 to 60 for a cup of flakes) – wear kitchen gloves. These extra hot chilies can bring on severe chili burn. Wear them when both cutting the fresh chilies and when handling the dried versions. The oils and seeds that contain the majority of heat are still there after drying, so the burn can be just as bad.
Homemade Habanero Flakes
- 50 to 60 habanero peppers
- Preheat oven to low.
- Cut the stems off of the habanero peppers, then place the habaneros evenly across a foil lined baking sheet.
- Bake the habaneros in the oven for 4 to 6 hours, until the chilies have dried. Depending on your oven, you may need more time.
- Remove the habanero peppers from the oven, then place them in a food processor or mortar. Do not remove the seeds as that removes much of the habanero heat.
- Whether automatically or by hand, crush the chilies until they reach your desired flake size.
- Use immediately or store the habanero flakes in an airtight container.